Telegram blocks ‘dozens’ of channels threatening violence

January 13, 2021 at 21:31

With many social networks suddenly reevaluating their policies in light of political violence in the U.S., the popular messaging app Telegram is implementing a crackdown of its own.
Telegram confirmed to TechCrunch that it has removed “dozens” of public channels over the course of the last 24 hours after those accounts, some of which have thousands of followers.
“Our Terms of Service expressly forbid public calls to violence,” Telegram spokesperson Mike Ravdonikas told TechCrunch.
Some of the blocked channels were still viewable on Telegram’s web client Wednesday.
Many extremist channels began publicizing backup accounts Tuesday, pointing subscribers to dozens of other groups where they could continue to gather.
Other sympathetic channels chronicled the bans in real-time, posting screenshots documenting violations of Telegram’s terms of service.
“For years, we’ve been tracking these Nazi Terrorgram channels and reporting horrendous, explicit calls to racist violence and insurrection, and Telegram did nothing,” Snyder told TechCrunch.
“It worked, and Telegram is finally dismantling the network of Nazi channels that have spent months and years overtly attempting to incite just the sort of terror we saw in DC.”With Telegram channels blaming Snyder for the takedowns, her home address has widely circulated on the app in an ongoing doxing campaign.
On one channel calling for her death, an image depicts Snyder’s face with a bloody hole in its forehead.
Another image includes an address, screenshots of her Twitter posts and the text “You know what to do.”Snyder says she heard pounding on her door Tuesday night.
Prominent among those is Parler, a social network hailed by many pro-Trump figures as a politically friendly alternative to mainstream social media.
But with Parler offline after Amazon suspended the account’s web hosting services and Apple and Google booted it from their respective app stores, a number of users flocked to more private options where violent extremism continues to flourish, including Telegram.